History of the Gabriel Project®?
Following the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 which made abortion legally permissible in all the States, the Rev. Msgr. John Perusina, late pastor of St. Michael Parish on Sage Road, Houston, put a sign outside the rectory which said: If you will have your baby, this parish will help you in every way. The original sign still stands today. This was the beginning of the Gabriel Project®. In 1990, Cathy McConn from St. Cecilia Parish in Houston and her friend, Rex Moses from Corpus Christi, saw the sign, and the Gabriel Project® was developed throughout the Galveston-Houston and the Corpus Christi Dioceses. On September 11, 2010, Dr. Marcella Colbert from the Galveston/Houston Dioceses came to St. Stephen the Martyr in Renton, Washington and held training for the first Gabriel volunteers of the Seattle Archdiocese; 13 parishioners from St. Andrew were in attendance and the Gabriel effort began here in Sumner.
What is the Gabriel Project?
The Gabriel Project is a parish-based crisis pregnancy intervention program. Gabriel parishes identify themselves as willing to help mothers or couples struggling with unplanned or difficult situations surrounding a pregnancy. When a mom or couple comes forward needing help the parish responds with unconditional love and support.
The parish Gabriel team is made up of volunteers who are in good standing in the parish, are well-grounded spiritually, and are dedicated to growing even deeper in their faith to respond to the challenges and demands of the ministry. Amidst the Gabriel volunteers are also specially trained women called "angels" who live out a like-with-like apostolate by bringing Christ to mom in friendship and support throughout the pregnancy. Gabriel volunteers and "angels" work collaboratively with other apostolates and ministries within the parish and the diocese in order to bring the best possible care to those seeking help.
How do those seeking help get plugged in to the project?
If you or someone you know is in a crisis pregnancy and needs help call 1-888-926-ANGEL.
How does a parishioner become involved in the Gabriel Project?
If you are a parishioner at St. Andrew or a surrounding non-Gabriel parish and would like to learn more about this important ministry please feel free to attend one of our meetings. Gabriel meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at St. Andrew in the Outback. Meetings begin at 7 pm and end no later than 8:30 pm. For those unable to attend a meeting you can also call the parish office and leave a message for Julie Covell, the Gabriel Coordinator, who would be happy to meet with you.
How can a non-volunteer help in the parish Gabriel effort?
The Gabriel Project relies on God's divine providence in all efforts. It is through the generosity and prayerful support of the St. Andrew parishioners that we will be able to bring Christ to moms and couples in need. Parishioners can help our efforts by bringing new or gently-used baby clothes, baby bottles, baby toiletry items, formula, and diapers to the parish. We would prefer you mark them "Gabriel Project" and place them in the food bank kiosk in the church gathering space. You can also bring them to the parish office however and tell the receptionist they are for the Gabriel Project. In addition to the mentioned items we do accept larger items such as baby swings, cribs, pack-n-plays, changing tables, and strollers, but need to examine these and make sure they meet new code requirements before we can accept them. For that reason we would prefer you arrange a time we can meet with you to do so by calling the parish office and arranging to meet with the Gabriel coordinator.
Monetary donations: can be placed in an envelope marked "Gabriel Project" and dropped in the offertory baskets during mass. Donations can also be brought to the parish office and left with Christine Kolbrick for the Gabriel Project.